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Collected wisdom: Former Oklahoma running back Roy Bell

Former Clinton standout played on two state championship teams.
by Ed Godfrey Published: December 22, 2012

Almost everybody was recruiting me. I was an Oklahoma fan growing up. I used to love watching them play Texas and Notre Dame, watching those running backs like Joe Don Looney dominate the defense. They would just beat them up.

Barry Switzer recruited me. I liked him. He was a real good coach. He liked hard work and he would get the best out of you.

We worked hard in practice. He (Switzer) would always say out loud at me, ‘There's a guy that wants to play.' He would yell it. It made me feel good.

We were still running the power I (at OU) then transitioned to the wishbone when I was there. It was kind of difficult at first but it was something the backs really liked because we could use our speed and quickness.

At that time, you could do that roll block on the corner. That's something we perfected, me, (Leon) Crosswhite and (Greg) Pruitt. It wouldn't make any difference how big the guy was on the corner, we could get him. And Jack Mildren could run with all of us. We all had speed.

I loved the wishbone because you could get one on one on the outside. We would isolate people. We would score about every 2 and a half minutes it seemed. It didn't take long.

The money is why I went to the Canadian Football League. We started in August and we were finished with our season by November.

About September it gets really cold in Canada. The coldest game I played in, in Calgary, it was 13 degrees below zero.

We were pretty good in Edmonton. We got beat in the Grey Cup twice and won it that third time. I got hurt in the Grey Cup game. I got my knee tore up. I was never the same after that. I tried to play one more year but I couldn't do it.

I moved back to Clinton. It's home. I started working at 3M over in Weatherford. I went out to the fire department then got a job at PSO (Public Service Company of Oklahoma). I worked for them about 29 and a half years. I retired a couple of years ago.

I've got into blacksmithing. I make knives, roses out of metal, all kinds of stuff.

I had the most fun playing football with the guys I grew up with in Clinton. We kind of started the Clinton dynasty. A lot of the young guys here ask me now, ‘Just how old are you?'

About every Friday night I am at the Clinton home games. They got a young kid out here now, Marquiz Simpkins. I see a lot of me in him, some of the moves he makes and some of the things he is doing. I think next year he is going to be a whole lot better.

There is a football tradition here that I hope will never end. When you come to Clinton, you are in Tornado country.

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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